How are you? I hope you, and Mrs. Claus, and the elves, and the reindeer are all feeling good.
If you have a spare moment this year, I have a wish that I hope you might have time for, a wish for a very special little girl.
You might remember her from last year, Santa. It was just before Christmas, and as I approached "Carol's Quality Sweets", I could see through the store window a little girl (maybe five or seven years old) with a huge smile on her face, looking at everything with enthusiasm. (She had me thinking extra of my Soulmate....) While I was in the store, fudge claimed and checking what Carol had that was new, the little girl was still exploring, hinting to her mother that they should get some jelly beans, and her mother mentioning that they already had enough for Santa. Carol was about to ring in the items for me, so I grabbed a large gift box of jelly beans, handed it to Carol, asked her to ring it in first, then handed the box to the mother of the little girl.
When the mother asked why I was giving her the jelly beans, there was only one answer: "Because of your daughter's smile -- so happy, I saw it even before I was in the store; she's made my Christmas...." The mother did not want to accept, but I insisted, and she said she would return the favour to someone else someday.
What I did not know (until Carol told me just before Valentine's Day)... The little girl had just received a cochlear implant that December morning, and was hearing things for the first time, getting a thrill from hearing the crunch of snow while walking, and from hearing everything in the candy store. When I was explaining to the mother why her daughter deserved the box of jelly beans, the little girl heard me -- Carol said I made the little girl's Christmas, she was so happy.
Carol's daughter mentioned random acts of kindness. One of the things I had to think about on my way home that February evening was whether the Universe is all that random. It never occurred to me that thinking of my Soulmate's smile while giving a little girl some jelly beans for Christmas would lead/magnify to an early Valentine's Day smile (okay, okay, and maybe a few tears of joy).
I know there are those who are already entitled to extra smiles you may have, Santa. You must be busy enough as it is, trying to replace "I need a hug..." pouts with something brighter and shared. And the extra-thoughtful lady (who hinted that a friend in hospice would enjoy some chocolate) deserves extra attention from you this year. And certainly Carol and her husband and family are worthy of your ongoing dedication, for the sweet smiles they create every day (and the real rum her husband uses in a fudge recipe). But if you do have a spare moment this Christmas, Santa, please give that little girl (and her Mom) some extra smiles, for she reminded how vital it is to think of others (she did want the jelly beans for you)... how thrilling everything is... how even a few words can mean the world to someone else... and how inspiring to everyone even one smile can be....
Vernon R.J. Schmid
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